Saturday, October 25, 2008

New things to learn... everywhere!

If you don't like learning new things then I really wouldn't recommend working at Readify! If you do, then it will really invigorate you.

Since starting here is a quick selection of some of what I've done

  • Shadowed a TFS MVP on engagements soaking up as much TFS goodness as possible

  • Installated TFS and showed customers how to use it

  • Presented modules on a .Net 3.5 course that was run by Paul Stovell

  • Architecture reviews / re-design

  • Ran a 2 day workshop on Sql Server Reporting Services

  • Presented a session at one of our free community events on WCF

  • Produced a WPF Proof of Concept for a customer

In the next month I'll be presenting the .Net 3.5 course, running a 2 day WCF workshop, and getting my hands dirty with some Silverlight. And if all goes to plan I'll be going on a SCRUM Master course.

SCRUM / agile methodologies have interested me since back in 2004 when my friend in the UK hired me to work on a SCRUM project at a big Investment Bank. The concepts really made sense to me in a ,"yeah - I knew something wasn't right on a lot of projects I worked on, but couldn't place why", way.

Going forward with Readify I'm hoping to be doing more of the same around training, building, but also moving towards introducing agile approaches to customers that want to adopt them.

Oh, and just because I mention the work SCRUM a lot, don't think I'm going to get into rugby.

Friday, October 03, 2008


I spent 1 1/2 years working on a large CAB application for a local Bank and was left with a bitter taste by CAB...

Primarily because it was such a confusing framework to use. Developers found it really difficult to grasp WorkItems and we overused loosely coupled events almost using them to control our process flow.

ObjectBuilder... Say no more.

The guidance / reference implementations were, hmm, not great. They rendered their own views un-testable by having links to concrete classes which would instantiate views, generally breaking the whole idea of a testable design.

So it's been with a little bit of fear that I downloaded the Prism guidance to have a look at what the WPF Composite Guidance is like.

First impressions have been really pleasant. Yes I have seen ObjectBuilder2 (sounds like some dodgy horror movie title), but thankfully have been pretty shielded from it.

WorkItems are gone - this is awesome. They were really unpleasant to explain to people.
DI has taken over bigstyle. Register everything with the Container, and things get resolved automatically. I was a little bit worried that I'd be swimming through Xml soup but smartly the IoC configuration is done in code at a module level.

Things generally seem neater and cleaner. I got my 1st Application up and running in 30 minutes or so, compared to a few hours with CAB.

So generally I'm pretty pleased. Add to that there is a Silverlight version. Cool! I'm sure I'll become a regular contributor to the Prism forums!

Messing around with Conchango's SCRUM template for TFS

I've spent a bit of time recently using TFS and trying to get my head around its templates.

Out of the box you get one for MSF for Agile, and one for a heavier, CMMI process. Over the last couple of days though I've installed the Conchango SCRUM template and have been playing with it.

So-far I'm pretty impressed. Especially with the online guidance. I think the videos of Ken Schwaber talking through the various phases of SCRUM are excellent.

I worked with Version-One and Perforce in London a few years ago with great success so am looking forward to playing more with TFS / SCRUM.